How to become a mental health therapist

Posting date: 01/02/24

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness. Mental health therapists are in high demand and if you would like to pursue this coveted career, here are the qualifications, requirements, and skills needed to succeed. 

If you are looking for an organization that thrives on growth, celebrates diversity of thought, and rewards passionate execution, you’ve come to the right place. Because we put patients first at Discovery, it is our honor to support and reward those who serve them. 

What qualifications do I need to be a mental health therapist? 

Becoming a mental health therapist involves a structured academic path typically beginning with a bachelor's degree, followed by a relevant master's degree, and subsequent licensure or certification. 

Both the bachelor's and master's degrees should be in fields such as psychology, counseling, clinical psychology, social work etc. 

As part of your graduate degree, you’ll gain valuable supervised clinical experience, fulfilling required hours through internships or practicum experiences in clinical settings. 

It is also important to note that Clinicians must be licensed or registered in the state in which they are applying. Be sure to check these details before submitting your application. 

Most employers will expect mental health therapist candidates to have a strong understanding of the therapeutic process, confidentiality laws, and professional ethics.

What skills do I need to be a mental health therapist?

Succeeding as a Mental Health Therapist demands a diverse skill set encompassing leadership, effective communication across diverse backgrounds, and a range of personal attributes. 

  • Demonstrating strong leadership abilities is essential as this allows therapists to guide clients through their mental health journeys while fostering empowerment and resilience.
  • Effective communication across various educational and cultural backgrounds is crucial, enabling therapists to build rapport, understand unique perspectives, and tailor treatment plans to individual needs. 
  • The role also demands tact, initiative, and resourcefulness in navigating complex situations, complemented by a professional demeanor and an enthusiastic, non-judgmental attitude. 

These qualities enable therapists to create a safe, supportive environment for clients, fostering trust and facilitating the transformative process toward mental wellness.

How long does it take to become a mental health therapist? 

The process to become a mental health therapist typically takes around 6 to 7 years, considering the time needed for both undergraduate (4 years) and graduate education (2 to 3 years), along with the licensure process. 

Keep in mind that timelines can vary based on individual circumstances, such as part-time versus full-time study, program requirements, and state-specific licensure regulations.

Make a difference in a mental health therapist job with DBH 

Embarking on a career as a Mental Health Therapist at DBH offers an enriching opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of individuals seeking support and guidance. 

Joining our team means becoming part of a compassionate and dedicated community committed to providing quality mental health care. 

At DBH, we foster an environment that values personal and professional growth, offering resources, training, and a supportive network to empower you in your role as a therapist. 

Come join us at DBH, where your passion for helping others aligns with our commitment to creating a positive impact in mental health care. Apply to our mental health therapist jobs today.

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